Orissa dance group wins 'India's Got Talent' contest

Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Orissa-based The Prince Dance group was declared the winner of TV reality show "India's Got Talent" at the grand finale here late Saturday night after several relatives and friends of the group, apart from state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, corporate houses and social activists joined hands to vote en masse for them.

The reward for the all-male group? A staggering Rs.50 lakhs (Rs.5 million) in cash and and a swish newly-launched Maruti Suzuki Ritz car.

The group, comprising 26 artistes, all below 22 years of age, held the audience - and more importantly, the judges - spellbound with their act, which was based on episodes from the Mahabharata.

While some of the men were painted in silver, one of them essayed the role of Hindu god Lord Krishna.

Led by their 26-year-old dance teacher Krishna Mohan Reddy, the group's members have a rural background and belong to Orissa's backward Behrampore district.

The winners pipped music group Piyush Rajani And The Fine Tuners - all of them men - as well as Ujjain-based Yogesh Malviya and Group, who performed gymnastics in their bid for the top slot. This group had a few women.

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and actors Sonali Bendre and Kirron Kher were the judges, with the grand finale being graced by Bollywood stars Shahid Kapoor and Rani Mukerji, who were there to promote their forthcoming movie "Dil Bole Hadippa".

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